We’ll say it — morning commutes can be an absolute drag. If you’re driving to work each day, there’s the the long drive + unbearable rush-hour traffic. If you commute via public transportation, you’re up against delayed busses//subway cars, limited access to cell phone signal [Must. Load. Instagram.], + the general discomfort of commuting with hundreds of others on their way to work each day. No matter the method, our biggest worry as #GirlBo$$es is wasted time.
Think about it for a second — how much time do you actually spend commuting to + from work each day? Each week? It adds up quickly, ++ while it’s definitely easy to fall back asleep on the Monday morning subway ride, we’re challenging you to take advantage of your commute. Instead of seeing your morning journey as a necessary evil, re-shift your perception. Many us of are given [at least] an extra hour a day: what good can we do with it?
So, not really sure where to start? Check out these five, easy ways to transform your commute!
1] LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Who said learning was just for the classroom? Your morning commute is a perfect time to wake up the brain + dedicate personal time to something you’ve been dying to learn! Headed to Florence with the family for an upcoming vacation + want to impress em’? Teach yourself Italian with language-learning tools like Rosetta Stone + our favorite, Duolingo [which has an offline mode when cell service is unavailible]. We also dig podcasts [check out some of our favorites here!], audiobooks [accessible at your local library, iTunes, + with services like Audible], + of course — the classic paperback. Change up your normal reading material + explore topics you’ve been interested in but haven’t found the time for, yet!
2] PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Becoming more mindful seems to be on all of our resolution lists this year, but very few of us have the time to add in an extra hour on the yoga mat each morning. ++ while it seems a little weird to meditate on a crowded subway, trust us on this one: getting some *me time* in each morning will help set the mood for the rest of your day. If you’re not operating a vehicle, check out some guided meditation apps [we love Headspace, Calm, Pacifica ++ even Spotify has guided meditation!].
There are plenty of books on the subject too — Gabby Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles is the ideal how-to guide for anyone looking to begin their own mindfulness journey, especially during the morning + evening commutes. Whatever you choose, take this time to really get to know yourself. We change on a daily basis, but rarely have the opportunity to acknowledge it — so skip the extra snooze time + embrace the moment.
3] MAKE IT PART OF YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE
The easiest way to really maximize your morning commute? Have it double as your #sweatsesh! Depending on your length of travel, add in some cardio on your way to the office or classroom. If you live in a bikeable city, test out a morning cycling route — especially if your city offers a bike-sharing program like Citi Bike [NYC] + Divvy [Chicago]. Even if you can’t cruise around by bike, make an effort to walk more by getting off the bus//metro a few stops earlier — we promise, the fresh air is definitely worth it!
Very few of us take on purely creative endeavors. ++ how can we? Our days are jam-packed with work, school, + workouts, with very little time to delve into anything else. Use your morning commute to dig deeper into your creative side + really flex those right-brain muscles. With earbuds in + the right playlist [we can’t stop listening to Noiz + Spotify’s *Creativity Boost* playlist], this time is perfect for brainstorming new ideas, creating + editing new content, ++ just devoting some time to doing your own thing. It’s important that we explore subjects that we’re truly passionate about that may not necessarily lie within our work//school circle — so take this time for exactly that!
5] PLAN OUT YOUR DAY
++ finally, probably the most *practical* way to take advantage of our daily commutes — getting ready to take on the day! While it might seem silly, practice going through the motions of the day’s schedule — what will each meeting, class, + activity be like? Are you prepared for everything on your calendar? This morning check-in also provides time for last minute prep — studying//cramming for an exam, presentation practice for a big meeting, + anything else you need to get done. By taking time to acknowledging the day’s upcoming events, you’ll be more prepared + proactive if anything changes or doesn’t go quite according to plan. Remember, you’re #inCHAARG of your life — don’t settle for anything less!
+ Jessica [@jessicasmith_inchaarg] // VirtCHAARG NYC